The main event at ESPN Africa Boxing 21 produced a nail-biting affair as Jackson Chauke successfully defended his South African Flyweight title against Sinethembu Kotana in Johannesburg on Thursday.
It was a full 12-round battle, with the champion earning a unanimous decision win (118-110, 116-114, 116-112), successfully defending his title for the fifth time.
The fight was even from the opening bell, with neither boxer dominating the early rounds. The champ, though, started to pick up the pace from round three and won the middle rounds thanks to his high work-rate and combinations.
Kotana, however, bounced back with some devasting left-hooks to the body to win rounds eight and nine.
The last three rounds are where the real championship quality started to shine through, with Chauke continuously pushing forward and throwing more punches, which earned him the victory against his former sparring partner.
Speaking after the fight, Chauke admitted it was a hard battle: "It was tough, but I did what I had to. No matter how I win, as long as I win. It was a good fight.
"We used to be on the same side, now we are on different sides, but no hard feelings. We were good at beating up each other."
Bangile Nyangani drops opponent with overhand right
Bangile Nyangani lulls Gaveni Nkwenteni into a false sense of security, then knocks him down with a nice right hand.
Nyangani wins Mini-Flyweight title defence
The co-main event saw Bangile Nyangani (13-1-1) comfortably defend his South African Mini-Flyweight title with a unanimous decision win (119-109, 119-109, 120-108) over Gaveni Nkwenteni (6-4-1) in their 12-round bout.
The champion put on an impressive display, winning every single round thanks to his majestic movement and pin-point combinations.
The fight may have started a little slowly, but Nyangani quickly picked up the pace in the second round and it was one-way traffic from there on out, scoring at will with a horde of different shots.
Nkwenteni looked out of his depth as he suffered the fourth loss of his career.
The rest of the card
The main card opened with a TKO win for Darrin Rossouw (6-0-0) over Sheldon Schultz (4-4-0) when the referee called off the fight at the start of the fifth round in the Junior Middleweight contest.
Rossouw had the better technique and picked his shots at will. Schultz showed some true grit to battle his way to the end of the fourth round, but he couldn't answer the fifth round due to the consistent punishment.
The second bout on the main card saw DRC's Patrick Mukala (13-2-1) with a dominant performance, earning a third round TKO win over Malawi's Simion Tchetha (12-6-1) in their International Super Middleweight contest.
The man from DRC looked extremely comfortable from the opening bell and used his jab and stinging straight right to put himself on the front foot. Tchetha had no answer for Mukala's superior boxing skills, and the referee stopped the fight one minute and 55 seconds into round three.
Patrick Mukala inflicts punishment in his TKO victory
Patrick Mukala causes damage as he lands a big right hand to the temple of Simion Tchetha.
The third bout on the main card saw a disappointing return to the ring for Rowen Campbell (12-2-0) who suffered a unanimous decision loss (79-70, 76-73, 78-74) to Luvuyo Sizani (7-0-0) in their Light Heavyweight clash over eight rounds.
It was Campbell's first outing in the squared ring in over 18 months and one he will soon hope to forget. To his credit, though, the former South African light heavyweight champion started well, moving nicely and landing some picturesque straight right-hands in the first three rounds.
The tide turned in the fourth when a devasting straight left from Sizani put Campbell on the canvas midway through the round. The latter answered the count and continued to grind it out, but he was on the deck again in the seventh after another stunning left from Sizani.
Again, Campbell got up, but the writing was on the wall as Sizani maintained his undefeated record with the seventh win of his career.
Main Card results:
- Darrin Rossouw wins by TKO over Sheldon Schultz (failed to answer round 5)
- Patrick Mukala wins by TKO over Simion Tchetha (1 min, 55 sec in round 3)
- Luvuyo Sizani wins by unanimous decision over Rowen Campbell (79-70, 76-73, 78-74)
- Bangile Nyangani wins by unanimous decision over Gaveni Nkwenteni (119-109, 119-109)
- Jackson Chauke wins by unanimous decision over Sinethembu Kotana (118-110, 116-114, 116-112)
- Cayden Truter wins by TKO over Nkululeko Mdletshe (2 min, 50 sec in round 5)
- Lence Ngoy wins by majority decision over Ntethelelo Nkosi (57-57, 59-58, 58-56)